Food & Recipes

7 Surprising Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Whole Foods

If you’re someone who shops at Whole Foods, you’re not alone. The store has seven million customers each week.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan who can’t get enough of their DIY salad bar or you’re someone who avoids the store in fear of their $10 vegetable juices, you’ve probably walked into one of the 435 existing stores at least once in your lifetime.

What once began as a small natural food store in Austin, Texas with a staff of 19 is now a global company with $15.4 billion of sales in 2015.

You may think you know everything about the supermarket, but it turns out Whole Foods has some fun facts of its own. Whether you’re a frequent customer of the store or only head in there when you absolutely need your favorite type of granola, I bet you didn’t know these seven surprising facts about Whole Foods.

1. They Have A List Of Banned Ingredients

If you walk into a Whole Foods store, don’t expect to find any products that contain hydrogenated fats, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners and more. These “unacceptable ingredients” are banned across the board.

2. It’s On Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” Every Single Year

Ever since the list began 18 years ago, Whole Foods has made the cut as one of the 100 best companies to work for. This year, it was ranked 75th on the list.

3. Their Flagship Store Is One Of The Top Destinations In Austin

The Whole Foods on Lamar Boulevard in Austin is visited by more tourists than even the Texas State Capitol. In addition to grocery shopping, it boasts a rooftop skating rink and a full bar for patrons to enjoy a drink or two while they shop.

4. The Best Day To Shop Is Wednesday

Looking to score some deals? Go shopping in the middle of the week. Whole Foods content blogger Molly Siegel told Business Insider that Wednesday is the best day to get food on sale, as new sales start Wednesday and run through to the following Wednesday, meaning you get double the sales that day.

5. They Don’t Offer Plastic Bags

Ever notice how all the stores’ bags are paper? That’s because Whole Foods stopped using plastic bags on Earth Day in 2008. This has helped save over 150 million bags from ending up in landfills since then.

6. They Build Stores Around Recent College Graduates

When choosing where to erect their next grocery store, Whole Foods looks at locations that contain a heavy population of recent college graduates. This is because 80 percent of Whole Foods customers have college degrees.

7. The CEO Makes $1 Per Year

That’s right. The CEO and Founder of the Fortune 500 company makes a mere $1 per year. And there’s no catch: He doesn’t take home a bonus or have any stock options, stating that “the tremendous success of Whole Foods Market has provided [him] more money than [he] ever dreamed [he’d] have, and far more than is necessary for either [his] financial security or personal happiness.” You go, John Mackey!

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